Alphabet thinks molten salt can solve grid energy storage issues

Alphabet Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate created in a corporate restructuring on October 2, 2015. It is the parent company of Google and several former Google subsidiaries.

The company’s research lab, X, which is currently also working on Google’s driverless car–is developing a system for storing renewable energy.

Adding batteries to the grid to store spare energy is expensive, so Alphabet’s X lab hopes to store energy as heat in molten salt. The project has been code named “Malta”.

It’s not a new idea, but X says that its scheme, runs at lower temperatures than others, which will make it cheaper. A pinch of salt is surely required, but we’ll soon find out if it can work.

It can be located almost anywhere, has the potential to last longer than lithium-ion batteries and compete on price with new hydroelectric plants and other existing clean energy storage methods, according to X executives and researchers.

X plans to test a megawatt-scale version on the grid soon.

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